This movie needs little introduction for those who have been following C-ent news. Basically the director Guo Jingming adapted one of his books into a movie with a star-studded cast. Here is the twist, instead of putting the actors into make up and costumes, they filmed in motion capture suits, making them needing their imagination as resource while they film their characters. For those unfamiliar with the term motion capture, a few good Hollywood references would be Avatar, Beowulf and Davy Jones’ crew in Pirates of the Caribbean.
Starring: Fan Bingbing, Kris Wu, William Chan, Cheney Chen, Roy Wang, YangMi, Amber Kuo, Kevin Yan, Wang Duo, Jelly Lin and Aarif Lee….phew that is a long cast list
What is the story about? [might contain spoilers]
The film takes place in the Odin, which is a completely different world from ours. Just for a brief explanation for what is not in the film. Odin is divided into four countries and this story sets place in one of the Ashland. Each country is ruled by 3 Priests who are divine entities without bodies of their own, stuck in three crystal rooms where they Dukes/Lords will visit to get instructions from them. Their word is law. Ashland has 7 Dukes with with one disciple of his/her own except for the first duke with 3 disciples. The story begins when the 2nd disciple, Shen Yin (played by YangMi) stopped by a small town in where she meets Qi Ling (Cheney Chen) who works his meaningless existence in an inn for most of his life. Shen Yin revealed they were hunting a Soul beast in nearby. Meanwhile on the other side of the country in the crystal room, the 7th Duke YinChen/Silver (Kris Wu) receives instructions from the priest to pick up Qi Ling who is destined to be his disciple and that will be where their adventure together begins. Of course it isn’t that simple, Teleya (Amber Kuo) the 4th Duchess received instructions from the priest to gather up all the dukes to eliminate the 5th Duke and his disciple, Guishanfengwhen (Kevin Yan) and Guishanlianqian/Lotus (Fan BingBing) who are a pair of siblings. Their reason: Treason
I will mention that the first Duke never appear in this film, though if they follow the book, he should look like Silver. The 6th Duke did not appear physically too, but he is a tragic part of the story.
Fan Bingbing looking beautiful as usual as Lotus
Kris Wu as the CHARMING, cold and aloof Silver. You will know why I emphasise on charming when you watch the film
Cheney’s character Qi Ling is the height of the warm moments in the film.
William Chan as YouMing/Dark, the 2nd Duke whom you will not want to mess with
Yang Mi as the dark and mysterious Shen Yin
Amber Kuo’s Tereya is another character you will not want to mess with. She has an um…intimate relationship with Dark.
Jelly Lin as the 6th disciple Tianshuyouhua/Yuka. She is basically a young girl who acts like a spoiled princess. But one will feel pity for the tragedy that befell her father who is the 6th Duke.
I covered the characters with the most screen time, so I will get down to my review.
I will absolutely recommend this film to anyone who loves fantasy stories as well as gamers who might like the graphics enough to immerse themselves in a totally different world. The cgi overall is absolutely beautiful with Fan Bingbing and Kris Wu having the best renders throughout the whole movie. This movie may have received some bias negativity based on the fact that Guo JingMing directed Tiny Times, but I feel we should all give this movie a chance. The story is well told and certain moments in the movie were memorable enough. Cheney’s Qi Ling proved to be a very likeable character, especially giving the heart warming touch for his scenes with Kris’ Silver. The music used for the soundtrack throughout the movie is excellent. The fight scenes are extremely immersive to watch, keeping the feeling of excitement throughout the film. The only downside was there were times when the cgi looks odd, I find it mostly with Amber Kuo’s expressions and I wish they put more effort on their non-actor characters, because those look really cringe-worthy and I rather skip those scenes with them. It is overall a film that is enjoyable to watch, leaving you wanting more.
The story: 10/10
The CGI: 7/10
The acting: 7/10
I will leave you with the OST sang by Cheney Chen